Driving Miss Donna

Posted April 19 2018 in #PeopleFirst

Header photo: Kim (right) picks up Donna (left).

Those who live in cold temperatures understand the multi-step process of driving in the winter. The hat, mittens, coat, and scarf to get bundled up, then the engine-starting, car-warming, ice-scraping process of getting the car ready. During a winter up North, there is no such thing as “going for a quick drive.”

Thus, it is all the more thoughtful when someone takes the effort to go out of their way during the dead of winter. This is what Kim Burnham did for a customer at Choice Financial, one snowy day. Kim is an Insurance Manager at Choice Financial in Langdon, North Dakota. Her customer was Donna, a 64-year old woman approaching her 65th birthday, and looking to get her Medicare coverage.

“She’s very nice,” Kim said about Donna, “She helps in any way she can, but you don’t see her a lot. She’s home all the time.”

Donna is forced to spend most of her time at home due to some health issues; something she’s dealt with her whole life. Because of this, she’s never had a driver’s license. Ever since her son graduated and moved away, she has depended on the kindness of her community for transportation.

Donna was on the phone with Kim just before her birthday, and they talked about scheduling a meeting to figure out Donna’s Medicare application.

“I will have to wait for a ride,” she said. “I’ll let you know when we can meet.”

“I’ll come and get you!”

Donna didn’t need to think too long before Kim chimed in, “I’ll come and get you!”

“Really?” Donna was surprised.

“Yes,” Kim said. “We’ll get it done.”

Driving conditions were less than ideal that day. The temperature was below zero, and the weather was windy and icy.

“A lot of people would have said, ‘it’s too cold. I don’t want to go out,’” said Kathy Kramer, Kim’s co-worker. “But Kim knew Donna needed a ride.”

So Kim bundled up, started her vehicle, waited for the engine to warm up, scraped off the snow, and drove to Donna’s house — all with a joyful smile. Donna was relieved when Kim arrived. Because of her help, the two were able to set up her insurance on the spot and get all of Donna’s questions answered.

“She was very appreciative,” Kim said. “She kept thanking me over and over.”

Kim has developed a name for herself as the go-to person when someone needs help.

This is the reputation Kim has in the Langdon community, Kathy said. Older folks often have questions or frustrations with the paperwork involved with different insurance policies. Kim has developed a name for herself as the go-to person when someone needs help. She studies the paperwork carefully so she can best help each person. She goes through each question, she explains the answers patiently and clearly, and she often saves the customer a lot of money.

“Sometimes, they’re not even Choice customers!” Kathy added.

That’s because it’s not just a Choice thing for Kim. It’s a people thing. It’s about putting PeopleFirst.

“Respect others and yourself,” Kim said, referencing Choice’s core value. “That’s what is important.”

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